Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Baden find caused the death of the woman at the fund raising dinner?

2. Why does Baden believe Levine was convicted at all costs?

3. Why did Baden fail to change the cause of death on the Soman case?

4. Why does Baden finally choose to follow forensic medicine?

5. What does Baden believe is the true cause of Thomas Noguchi's move to a teaching position?

Short Essay Questions

1. Briefly explain the case of Ann Hart.

2. What is psychosis with exhaustion, according to Baden?

3. Describe the blunders that occurred during the Levin and Chambers case.

4. Explain how Baden discovered the age, time of death, and identity of Katherine Howard.

5. Explain how ricin came into fame in 1978.

6. Explain why Baden chose forensic medicine as his profession.

7. List the three tests used to determine how long someone has been dead, and mention what they are.

8. Describe the symptoms of strangulation, as seen during autopsy.

9. Discuss why Baden believes how someone dies is a reflection of how they live.

10. In the end of Chapter One, the report given to the FBI suggests two shooters. Explain the event that prompted the committee to suggest this.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the forensics used in the case of the prison riot at Attica to prove the guards accidentally shot the hostages. What techniques did Baden use to look at the bodies? What did he find? Why did people dislike his findings? How could he prove the findings? What mistakes did others, such as the funeral director, make that hindered the investigation? Did this serve to increase the tension? Why? Do you think the end result at Attica was beneficial? Why? What group did the riots help create? What does that group do? How did that help the prisoners in the long run?

Essay Topic 2

The novel discusses additional methods to deteremine time of death, those of the potassium eye test and the use of the digestive system.

Part 1) List each method, and discuss, in detail, how that method helps determine the time of death.

Part 2) Compare and contrast the methods. How are they the same? How are they different?

Part 3) Compare these methods with rigor mortis, livor mortis, and algor mortis. Why are these methods sometimes needed? What benefit do these methods have that the others do not? Be sure to explain your answer using examples from the book.

Essay Topic 3

In the Mary Beth Tinning case, nine children died before someone thought to question the parents of the children. MEs, hospital staff, neighbors, friends, social services, and others all had the same information, but refused to question the situation.

Part 1.) Explain the circumstances that allowed this tragedy to unfold.

Part 2.) Discuss the SIDS diagnosis, in terms of why it is seldom questioned.

Part 3.) Write a brief opinion statement, noting whether you believe the system is partially responsible for these deaths, and why.

(see the answer keys)

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